Frank Lampard is ready to lead a clampdown on goal celebrations by ordering his players to practise new routines in training.
Lampard is willing to try and ban group hugs in training to try and implement a new Premier Leaguecoronavirus crackdown on celebrations.
Premier League bosses are holding a series of meetings with captains, PFA reps and managers to reinforce a strong message they must observe stronger protocols.
They will be told to stop mass celebrations and come up with their own new ideas or even look at other sports such as rugby to see how they celebrate while observing social distancing on the pitch.
Chelsea boss Lampard confirmed he will have a look at doing a “dry run” for different celebration routines on the training pitch ahead of games.
Lampard said: “We practise social distancing as much as we can in the training ground. On the pitch it can be difficult at times clearly, because you have to train and get close to each other.
“But every moment you possibly can and in training I suppose the instinct or the moment shouldn’t grab you as much, let’s hope, as it would do in-game when you’re scoring in the Premier League that wins a game or whatever.
“So for sure it’s something I will pass on to the players and you see a lot of these group hugs now when they win a five-a-side so that will be something we’ll look at.”
Premier League director of football Richard Garlick is hosting four separate meetings on Thursday and Friday with representatives from all 20 clubs expected to attend.
They are being given a presentation which warns they must try to stop mass celebrations, handshakes, high fives and shirt swaps among a Premier League crackdown on protocols.
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Clubs have already had warning letters stressing football must set the right tone and the presentation to captains said they must set the right “image” and not be seen to be flouting rules while the country is in lockdown.
The Premier League has urged captains to look at celebrations with the point being made when football returned last June they were quite muted… but have slowly crept back and it is difficult to stop the natural spontaneous urge which follows a winning goal.
Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland has been held up as an example when he scored in the Bundesliga’s first game back last year… and team mates kept their distance as he did a jig of delight.
Similarly, Bristol Bears pair Nathan Hughes and Harry Randall enjoyed a socially distanced celebration last week with one holding up an arm in delight while the other held the rugby ball.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane also managed to tone down his celebrations after scoring against Fulham on Wednesday night and referees have already started talking to captains pre-match to urge them to stop mass hugs after goals.
But players insist it will be difficult to stop the natural urge and there is a degree of understanding from the Premier League who see pre-organised and practised group routines – such as handshakes and dances – as worse than spontaneous hugs.
However, the “Aylesbury duck” celebration captured the public’s imagination a few years back when the non-league team scored against Kingstonian in the FA Cup and the entire team got down on their knees and waddled.
Or even Jimmy Bullard’s infamous celebration at Manchester City when he pretended to tick off his Hull team mates in 2009 as a light hearted dig at his manager Phil Brown.
It may be difficult for Premier League stars to control their emotions – but Lampard is determined to try along with a few routines from the past.
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